The Shooting competition at the 2012 Olympics took place at the Royal Artillery Barracks over July 28-August 6. In all, 390 athletes shot for gold.
Shooting events are distinguished by the type of firearm or airgun, the type of target, whether moving or stationary, and the distance of the shooter from the target. A score from one to 10 is awarded for each shot, depending on its accuracy. In the final events, partial points can be awarded for shots that are close to the target.
Free rifle – 60 shots fired in one hour and 15 minutes from a prone position, shot from 50m and using a .22 calibre rifle.
3-position rifle – A total of 120 shots for men and 60 shots for women, split equally between the prone position, kneeling position and standing position, shot from 50m using a .22 calibre rifle. In the men’s event, the prone shots must be made within 45 minutes, the kneeling shots within one hour and the standing shots within one hour, 15 minutes. Women have a total of two hours, 15 minutes for all three positions.
Air rifle – 60 shots for men and 40 shots for women from a standing position, shot from 10m using a .177 calibre air rifle. Shots must be made within one hour, 45 minutes for men and one hour, 15 minutes for women.
Free pistol – 60 shots (6 x 10) fired from 50m. The time limit is two hours.
Rapid fire pistol – Two segments of 30 shots each fired from 25m. Each 30-shot segment consists of six series of five shots, two with the target exposed for eight seconds, two at six seconds and two at four seconds.
Air pistol – 60 shots for men and 40 shots for women fired from 10m. The time limit is one hour, 45 minutes for men and one hour, 15 minutes for women.
Sport pistol – A total of 60 shots divided into two periods of 30 shots each, shot from 25m. The first period consists of six series of five shots fired within five minutes per series. The second consists of six series of five shots, with one shot fired each time the target is exposed.
In all shotgun events the target is a spinning clay saucer catapulted into the air from a trap to simulate the flight of birds. The location of the shooter and the height and angle at which the target is released varies with the event. The top six competitors after the preliminary competition advance to the final round. Final standings are based on aggregate scores.
Skeet – Only one shot per target can be fired. Five rounds of 25 targets are shot over the course of two days, from up to eight shooting stations. The shotgun must be held at hip level until the target appears. Targets are thrown from either a high or low house, up to three seconds after the call, from at least 65m away. The final round consists of 25 targets. Men must hit 125 targets, women 75.
Trap – Up to two shots can be fired at each target. Five rounds of 25 targets each are shot over the course of two days, from five different shooting stations. Men have 125 targets and women have 75 targets. Competitors raise their shotguns before calling for a target, which is released from at least 70m away. The final round consists of 25 targets.
Double trap – Similar to trap, but targets are thrown two at a time. Men fire three rounds of 50 targets and the final round is 50 targets.
In all events, shooters take part in two rounds, the qualification and the final. The scores in each round are added together to give a total score, which determines the winners of the medals.